Anonymous confession Instagram accounts spark controversy at Simmons

After backlash from students, the moderator posted a poll on their story, asking followers if they should stop posting confessions.

Jamie Perkins, Staff Writer

Screenshot from @simmonsconfessions2.0 Instagram account.

An Instagram account, @simmonsrealconfessions, dedicated to posting anonymous Simmons confessions returned from a two-month hiatus in December 2022. The account has 480 followers, but some Simmons students expressed frustration with the re-emergence of the account and students refuse to follow it due to past confessions accounts’ allegedly hateful posts. 

“At first I followed [the account] because it seemed interesting and fun, but there were incidents with a lot of ableism and transphobia that were very disheartening to see,” said Kaz Gebhardt, a sophomore History major. 

Since the 2021-2022 academic year, multiple anonymous Simmons confessions accounts have been created. The trend began with @simmonsconfessions, who first posted on Nov. 12, 2021. They posted their last confession, number 1,362, on Feb. 8, 2022. 

On March 19, 2022, @simmonsconfessions2.0 attempted to take over until the original account returned to posting, according to their biography. 

In April 2022, the new account posted confessions such as, “I’m considering transferring because there shouldn’t be trans men or non-binary people at a women’s college. It ruined Simmons,” and “I’m sorry but if you got a single for your ADHD or anxiety or s— like that f— you.” These posts have since been deleted.

Screenshot from @simmonsconfessions2.0 Instagram account. Profane words are blocked out as per AP Style guidelines.

“It was really upsetting to see that there are some students that didn’t feel like they wanted to respect my identity and pronouns,” said Gebhardt in reference to these posts. “The transphobic comments did get taken down… but there’s still a lot of ableism on these accounts.”

After backlash from students, the moderator posted a poll on their story, asking followers if they should stop posting confessions. According to this post, almost 300 people voted and decided that the account should be deleted. 

Dr. Renique Kersh, the Vice President of Student Affairs, confirmed that Student Affairs is aware of the confessions accounts, both past and present. She encouraged students to come directly to Student Affairs with concerns so they know where the concern is coming from and can do a proper investigation. She also urged that conflict can’t be solved from behind a screen. 

“Remember how important it is as part of a community to have a shared responsibility. We all are responsible for the beauty of the community. We also can be collectively responsible for the negativity that lives in the community,” Dr. Kersh said. 

The only currently active confessions Instagram account, @simmonsrealconfessions, is run by an anonymous moderator and takes submissions for confessions through an anonymous Google Form linked in their biography. 

Confessions range from anecdotes such as “do we have a name for the bunnies that graze at night right outside Bartol Hall? They keep me going in this cruel world,” to complaints about Residence Life such as “one of the workers in the Housing Office straight up told me to f— myself when I complained about mental health and the need for a single. We need action… especially living on the BIPOC LLC where we were getting hatecrimed and the other worker in charge of our area didn’t do s— either.” 

While @simmonsrealconfessions states on their Google Form that hateful speech will not be tolerated, some students claim that the anonymity could lead to similar posts as those on @simmonsconfessions2.0. Others avoid the account due to alleged overall negativity.

Lilly Brenneman, a junior Literature and Writing major, used to follow @simmonsconfessions2.0 but does not follow the newer @simmonsrealconfessions. “I get that there are frustrations people have about college life … but it doesn’t do much good to just anonymously post it online,” they said.

As reflected by @simmonsrealconfessions 480 followers, not all Simmons students have abandoned the account.  

McSheffrey, follows @simmonsrealconfessions because they appreciate the funny posts and the important issues brought up, such as alleged mold and bugs found in food at Bartol Hall. However, they came to Simmons because they thought it would be a safer school for people of marginalized identities, and they disapprove of @simmonsconfessions2.0.

Michelle Bozzi, a third-year student in the 3+1 Sociology and Public Policy Accelerated Masters program, refuses to follow any confessions account. She said that an anonymous page isn’t “a productive way to mediate conflict.”